Burger Hunter

Burger Hunter: Timber Lodge Steakhouse

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

Look up we are in Bloomington! A city besides MSP that actually has buildings. This hunt is so 1997 and we’re up north at the Timber Lodge Steakhouse. Now I’ve been saying for awhile that a good steakhouse almost always delivers a dynamite burger. Have a taste of nostalgia for size. Always hearted hard on T-Lodge. Who didn’t have a good meal there? FR! Place is lit. Now they’ve kicked it up a notch with some gourmet burgers and that’s my cue. The Bacon Cheeseburger is big times running for something! It’s bossy and has it all. They call um Butcher Burgers and this is why –> the meat is locally sourced from a single steer that comes from Blooming Prairie, MN. Top marks for all that. Timby admit-tingly uses their pals Lowry Hills Meats to get their special grind. The flavor is perfy. Flat top cooked with good meat sears on the outer and v juicy insides. Thick and med/light pack. So you do get a few crumbly pieces as you devour. The chew is goals. There’s a heavy salad, LTO & fresh ah! They get it from their own produce farm, which is nice. TBH it’s noticeably nice. There’s a little BBQ sauce that acts as a dressing. The bun is choice! Super fresh from Baker’s Field Flour & Bread in the Food Building in Nordeast. I loved this bun and would eat it just plain. Damn Gina. The burger comes with Neuskie’s Bacon and I shouldn’t need to explain the quality there. Hundo p. It’s smothered with a fab cheddar from Bongards. Lots of local and lots of love. I’m in a cabin folks. It’s pretty nice. Oh Timber Lodge you’ve never disappointed me. And to think how long it’s been. Damn I’ve missed you. Glad we’re back!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.2   Presentation: 8   Originality: 10

Timber Lodge Steakhouse, 7989 Southtown Dr, Bloomington; timberlodgesteakhouse.com


Burger Hunter: Smashburger

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

Busy summer months are all the up in your business. This much needed pit stop is before all 18 weddings and 22 graduations. Smashburger time folks. Yeah, this place is legit. It’s your high end fast food burger joint and I’m a card carrying member of the Smash Club. Actually it’s just an app. But there’s mad deals up in there! The BBQ, Bacon, & Cheddar is my steady. Let’s start with the bun, it’s eggy and butter grilled. Pretty good. The meat is never frozen, fresh and obvi smashed down onto the flattop. Burger is served simmering hot yet v juicy. Big, flat and cooked just passed medium. It’s kinda greasy but not offensive. Multi napkin affair. The meat is angus and right on flavor profile. Clean and seasoned simply. It’s topped with some haystack onions that are better than 98% of the onion rings out there. In fact, you can get a side of them and you’d be winning if you do so. There’s a fab town cheddar on dare and it’s to live for. Creamy and dreamy. Gooey and golden. A person oughta do two pieces . . . I’m being extra but whateves. The bacon is really breakfy and applewood smoked. The produce punch is fresh and crisp so get some if you’re into it. Lettuce your ride. Comes with a BBQ sauce but I’m a condo side guy. You control the levels. Love Smashburger every time. Consistent and the shoe string fries are a must.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.4   Presentation: 6   Originality: 7

15 locations in the Twincy metro, smashburger.com


Burger Hunter: Anchor Fish & Chips

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

 

Ahoy polloi. Summertime and the livin’ is easy. This hunt we head to 13th Ave for the legendary fish fry line out the door place. Yup, it’s The Anchor Fish & Chips! Let’s get right to it. You get a burger at fish place? Damn right I do. And if you knew what was good for you, you’d do the same. Okay . . . we just had to talk that out. Glad we’re still friends. Pro Tip: Order the Fish & Chips as your appetizer! Your shipmate will be impressed. Now you’re settled in, on to the Burger & Chips. It’s packin’ Peterson Farms beef with their sweet limos (Limousin cattle from France) hella fresh kinda steaky smooth, but grass fed so clean and gentle. The texture is unique and hundo p made me want more and more. Nicely seasoned and salt is dialed. Medium and juicy. Bun is potato and from the French Meadow Bakery. Buttery grilled and just right. Arhhhhhhhh. The Irish Cheddar is whispering. It’s good, but double up if you cheese two. Get it? Says 1/3 lb, feels like a 1/2 pounder, so it kinda needs 2 slices. Anywho, the salad is monster . . . crispy and fresh. Tomato was better than textbook. The below deck bun gets a wonderful bath of flavor from all the meat juices and moisture. It holds court but becomes this whole new area of delight. Burgers on point . . . FR. List worthy even. The fries are wedgy and creamy good. You might even hear the fry chef say “nailed it”. Gotta love taking pride. Good work Anchor. I tip my sailor hat to you!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.3   Presentation: 6   Originality: 7

Anchor Fish & Chips, 302 13th Ave NE, MPLS; theanchorfishandchips.com


Burger Hunter: Shake Shack

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

Driving across town to the biggest Mall in America has never felt so exciting. This hunt is all about the best things in life—like Shake Shack. Seriously folks, believe the hype. The ShackBurger is one of the best around. FR. Now always patty up when available. Here it’s a double so go there. Trust . . . The meat is from local legends the Revier Cattle Co and they set the farm bar pretty high in Minnesota. The grind is a mix of love that I really don’t know. My best guess is angus with brisket. Menu says hundo p angus. Either way, it’s so good you won’t care. Cliff Clavin your beef some other time. This ones all about living in the moment. Each and every bite. The cheese is out of control. You almost think it’s a Jucy Lucy! I long for it. Hard. It’s creamy and perfect. Now this burger is cooked medium and is juicy to the nines. Glistening and drip forward. The bun is potato, small and butter grilled. Just right. Get the ShakeSauce on the side so you can taste this meat. The sauce is likely just a combo of all the fav burger condos. Good for some Belgiums. Dips fool! The fries are crinkle cut and super hot. Shake is in the name so you better believe they got game. And they do. No ice chunks here. Bring the fam and hit some stores but I guarantee you it’s the burger you’ll remember most!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.8   Presentation: 6   Originality: 8

Shake Shack, Mall of America #332, 60 E Broadway, Bloomington; shakeshack.com


Burger Hunter: Hi-Lo Diner

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

We’re Living Hi-Lo dirty clothes ain’t never lost no bet . . . Whoops slipped into an old White Iron Band classic. Well, that kinda gave it away. Yup, this hunt is east on Lake Street at the one and only Hi-Lo Diner. Now once again the burger might not be your number one choice cause the menu here has some muscles. Real good. But you’re missing out if someone in the group doesn’t get all religious on some burger meat. The Hi-Lo Burger is a 1/3 lb diner beef blend. What that means is who knows but what it tastes like is O-M-G. It’s got a choice cut in there for sure and probably lots o’ fat in the chucky. It’s grilled semi crispy on a flat top. Sensational buttery crunch outer but a soft juicy not drippy inner. Best of both worlds kinda thing going on here. The bun is airy light brioche buttery and likely baked by an angel. With a hint of garlic and crispy yet soft. It’s maybe the best brioche I’ve ever had. Damn Gina. Anywho . . . The cheese is American and practically running down the block. Each bite gets a nice blast. Nailed it. Order a malt so you don’t get egg on your face. They’re incredible. And remember to blast a photo cause you’re in a 1957 Fodero. I’m also dropping a pin on this kill. Got more work to do here. 

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.5   Presentation: 10   Originality: 9

Hi-Lo Diner, 4020 East Lake St, MPLS; hi-lo-diner.com